An international firm, GESA Agricultural Portal, has on Friday donated 10,000 tomato seed sachets to farmers in Oyo State.
The donation, which was received by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle, on behalf of the State government, amounts to about two million seeds of plum tomatoes, to be planted by farmers at the next planting season.
While receiving the donation, the Commissioner assured the donor, whom he described as one of government’s partner, of government commitment to ensuring that only real tomato farmers get the seeds.
He assured that the Governor Seyi Makinde-led government investment in agriculture is because of its determination to use the sector to drive the economy and foster development.
Ojekunle affirmed that, since the donor intimated the government of its intention, the government had issued a directive to all relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector to mobilise tomato farmers and ensure effective distribution of the seeds across the State.
Ojekunle said, “Any serious-minded government at this crucial period will know that agriculture remains our best alternative to oil. That was why we set machineries in motion to transform farm settlements into farm estates across all the zones in the State with provision of social amenities that will make life enjoyable for farmers.”
He added that increasing the capacity of women and youths would help the current administrations resolve in bringing about an agric revolution. He assured of government’s readiness to partner with GESA and the organized private sector to free residents of the State from joblessness and poverty.
The Commissioner disclosed that, “The program is about to kick-start in the 14 local government areas in Ibadan because we mean serious business. Nobody is expected to farm with cutlasses and hoes anymore, as we are already in an era of modern farming where tractors do all the jobs. We believe in this initiative of Governor Makinde to industrialize the State through agric revolution.”
Empowering tomato farmers
Speaking on the essence of the donation, the Chief Executive Officer, GESA Agricultural Portal, Ms Lara Suleiman, said the initiative is to empower youths and women who are tomato farmers.
She noted that, with the seeds, tomato yield would improve, thereby making it more rewarding for the farmers who face challenges in the areas of yield, apart from improving the quality of tomatoes available in the market.
Suleiman disclosed that her organisation was encouraged by the commitment of the present administration in Oyo State and show of political will to achieve food security, employment generation, and improve the economic fortunes of the State through agriculture.